Ok, so, first of all, pantry week is done. D-O-N-E. It was surprisingly easy, I must say. Being resourceful doesn't seem to be quite so difficult when you anticipate having to be. And so, night after night, we just made it work. And for those of you who followed our week on Facebook, you know we didn't even have to eat the same thing day in and day out. Nor did we have to live off the grapefruit tree in our yard as I told John we'd probably have to the night before pantry week began (me: Well, I guess the first step is to go and pick a bunch of grapefruits. ::sigh:: John: Really? You guess that the first step to pantry week is living off the land? ::laugh::). Interestingly, when I returned to the grocery store yesterday, I spent $100 less than we usually do. The best part was that it was effortless. I wasn't keeping track of how much I was spending and felt like I was doing a regular old grocery shop. Imagine my surprise at the check out! I'm thinking we might need to do pantry week more often. My theory on this grocery purchasing miracle was that I went into the experience with an actual awareness of what we already had at home to work with. Instead of starting from scratch, then, I built meals around what was back in the cupboards and refrigerator at our house. Additionally, after buying M food during our pantry week, we became aware of how much we spend on baby food. A LOT is the answer in case you weren't sure. And so another byproduct of pantry week is that we're re-entering a much more home-cooked sphere for M's eating. We started out there and we're coming back in now that she eats chunky food without any issue and now that I'm almost done with school. The convenience of jarred baby food was awesome, but fresh, local organic food will definitely do her growing baby-kid body better.
Speaking of M, I have a question for all of you out there. She's almost one (I'm pretty sure I just had a small heart attack when I wrote that sentence) and, though I always swore that we wouldn't throw her a birthday party, I'm singing a slightly different tune now. It seems...I don't know...fun or something. Plus, there's something about marking having survived this first year as family and as individuals--not just M, but John and me, too. So my question, really, has three parts. First, did you have a birthday party when you turned one/for your own kid(s) when they turned one? And second, if you did, what the heck did you serve? M doesn't do flour (gives her hives), which leads me to my third question. Does anyone have any killer desert recipes that are gluten-free and/or flour free?